One of the most honored civic institutions in America, Washington Performing Arts made the difficult decision to transform their 600 person Annual Gala to an online and livestream event in 72 hours.
Making the switch from an in-person event to virtual event was something we didn’t expect. But WPA’s virtual gala broadened their reach and overall helped raise vital funds. In the wake of this new reality, this is something that we are bringing to current and future clients.” Roger Whyte, Principal of RJ Whyte
Even with such a quick-turn of events, Washington Performing Arts was able to bring their in-person fundraising activities online. These included:
WPA took their in-person gala format virtual in a matter of 72 hours. Because they could open the “Virtual Gala” to the online public they reached a wider audience.
With the help of RJ Whyte Event Productions, WPA livestreamed the event from Salamander Hotel & Resort. They curated a trimmed down silent auction featuring their best items. Their auctioneer showcased the auction items throughout the virtual program.
For the Live Auction, they had a phone bank with staff so donors could call in live bids. The Fund-A-Need, they successfully moved their paddle raise to a digital appeal. There was a screen with scrolling donors names, enabling the auctioneer to thank supporters in real time.
Washington Performing Arts made some necessary adjustments to their event program to drive donor engagement and motivation to give. They:
#FearlessFundraisers all over the world are learning as they go with the shift to virtual fundraising. In retrospect, Washington Performing Arts implemented these best practices to make their event a success:
Washington Performing Arts didn’t know what results to expect but were ecstatic by the overwhelmingly positive response. A move to virtual paid off for them to say the least:
You can learn more about Washington Performing Arts and support their mission by visiting their website.